Monday, 3 September 2012

Arguments of the Abortion Advocates: Part 1 "Need"

The arguments put forward by the abortion industry can be broken down into two basic categories. Before it is liberalised, abortion advocates will stress the ‘need’ for abortion to tackle hard cases. They’ll claim for example that: 
i) women will die during pregnancy if they don’t have access to abortion as part of maternal healthcare,
ii) a woman pregnant through rape must not be forced to carry the child of their attacker,
iii) women are traumatised when they are forced to deliver babies with disabilities. 

In April 1992, Ireland’s foremost obstetricians stated: “As obstetricians and gynaecologists, we affirm that there are no medical circumstances justifying direct abortion, that is, no circumstances in which the life of a mother may only be saved by directly terminating the life of her unborn child.”*

Despite the fact that the Republic of Ireland has one of the lowest maternal mortality rates in the world it is the first of these three arguments which is currently being used to attack legal protection for unborn children. Here in Northern Ireland it is the question of rape that is being cited. But in both these cases once the initial argument has been made abortion advocates  have begun to introduce the third, the need for eugenic abortions. 

There is no scientific evidence that abortion has any health benefits but literally hundreds and hundreds of studies which demonstrate the risks. (The BBC recently highlighted yet another study on the danger of premature delivery in subsequent pregnancies.) Before the claim  that abortion is necessary to save the lives of women is exposed as a fiction the abortion lobby has to change the focus of the debate and the eugenic argument is the next step. 

The same is true concerning the question “what about rape?” Even in cases of rape abortion kills an innocent child and carries the same dangers for women as it does in other situations. The nature of the issue, however, means that anyone who suggests that offering abortion is not a compassionate response to women traumatised by rape is immediately shouted down. But legalising abortion only for cases of rape would not bring about the real aim of the abortion industry which is abortion on demand. The sympathy instinctively felt for the victims of rape has to be redirected towards all women regardless of their circumstances. The next step in this process is to focus on the plight of women expecting disabled children and portray abortion as the cure they need. 

When looked at closely the claims that abortion is necessary are shown to be merely the first step in overcoming public opposition to abortion. Ultimately the real arguments of the abortion industry are not based upon need but on “choice.”  

*‘Statement by Obstetricians’  John Bonner, Eamon O’Dwyer, David  Jenkins, Kieran O’Driscoll, JuliaVaughan, 1 April 1992.

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